Smith confident of Sevens medal in Rio

Date published: July 18 2016

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South Africa Sevens forward Kwagga Smith is confident that the Blitzbokke will challenge for a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, given they came second in the IRB World Sevens Series this year.

With Sevens making its Olympic debut, Smith hopes to repeat what his team did in 2014 when they won the Commonwealth Games gold, which is possible given the Blitzbokke won silver in the World Sevens Series for the past four years.

Smith told MyPlayers: "My greatest rugby memory was winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. That was a small taste of what the Olympics will be like.

"It’s a huge honour to receive the opportunity to play in Brazil. I hope to maintain good form and deliver consistent performances during the World Series.

"I believe South Africa will have what it takes to medal at the Olympics and I'm delighted to be a part of the journey."

Sevens has been growing in popularity over the past few years, with big Rugby Union players making the jump across formats, and the likes of Bryan Habana (who was a shock omission from the Olympic squad) giving it their time.

Smith told MyPlayers: "It’s nice seeing some of the biggest names in rugby dedicating their time to sevens rugby. You have guys like Sonny Bill Williams playing for New Zealand and Quade Cooper called up by Australia.

"The likes of Bryan Habana, Francois Hougaard and Juan de Jongh have also spent time with us in recent months.

"The sevens field is already so competitive and this gives us the opportunity to measure ourselves against the best in the business.

"The shorter World Series schedule has also tested us mentally and physically. With only two to three weeks in between back-to-back tournaments, our recovery and preparation processes are more important than before."

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